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CMI - Moses author Genesis

Did Moses Really Write Genesis?

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A deadly hypothesis denying that Moses had anything to do with Genesis, based on spurious scholarship, is still widely being taught to future Christian leaders.

Nearly all liberal Bible colleges and seminaries, and sadly some which profess conservative evangelical doctrine, approvingly teach the ‘documentary hypothesis’, also known as the ‘JEDP hypothesis’.

What is the documentary hypothesis?

This is the liberal/critical view which denies that Moses wrote Genesis to Deuteronomy. It teaches that various anonymous authors compiled these five books (plus other portions of the Old Testament) from centuries of oral tradition, up to 900 years after Moses lived (if, in this view, he even existed). These hypothetical narrators are designated as follows:

  • J (standing for what the documentary hypothesists would term Jahwist) supposedly lived about 900–850 BC. He/she/they allegedly gathered the myths and legends of Babylon and other nations, and added them to the ‘camp-fire stories’ of the Hebrews, producing those biblical passages where the Hebrew letters YHWH (‘Jehovah’) are used as the name of God.
  • E (standing for Elohist) supposedly lived about 750–700 BC in the northern kingdom (Israel), and wrote those passages where ’Elohim is used as the word for God.
  • D supposedly wrote most of Deuteronomy, probably the book found in the temple in Jerusalem in 621BC. (2 Kings 22:8).
  • P supposedly represents a Priest (or priests) who lived during the exile in Babylon and allegedly composed a code of holiness for the people.
  • Various editors R (from German Redakteur) supposedly put it all together.

The idea of multiple authorship of these books was first proposed by Jean Astruc in Paris in 1753. However, the foremost exponent was Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918), who ‘restated the Documentary Hypothesis … in terms of the evolutionary view of history which was prevalent in philosophical circles at the time’.1,2 He claimed that those parts of the Old Testament that dealt with sophisticated doctrine (one God, the Ten Commandments, the tabernacle, etc.) were not truth revealed by the living God, but were ideas that evolved from lower stages of thinking, including polytheism, animism, ancestor worship, etc.3 Hence the ‘need’ to find or fabricate later authors. One of the main arguments was that writing had supposedly not been invented yet at the time of Moses.

Thus the documentary hypothesis undermines the authenticity of the Genesis Creation/Fall/Flood accounts, as well as the whole patriarchal history of Israel. It presupposes that the whole of the Old Testament is one gigantic literary fraud, and calls into question not only the integrity of Moses, but also the trustworthiness/divinity of Jesus (see point 5 below). No wonder the critics have embraced it so warmly!….

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  • http://nill AE Constant

    In the Bible records of the creation is written by the Lord God Almighty mentioned in Ex. 24:12 “then the Lord said to Moses, Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of Stone, and the Law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them”(NKJV). This is the reference that the original recorded of evidence in the world that is in the Bible. Only the Lord Elohim would know how He created the earth before the language was developed. He, only the person who can explain that the creation details of the earth. Also all the living things in the earth, which, how He has created. For recording of the creation details of His creation we need the language. So that the Lord Elohim called Moses to Mount Sinai and He had taught the Language to Moses. And The Lord Elohim had given to Moses the Ten Commandments and the Law with its Alphabetic order of writing at the Mount Sinai. Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights with Lord Elohim at Mount Sinai and he received the documents of His writings Exo. 24: 12 to 18.
    The above comment is from my one of article prepared for my teaching class. by AE Constant

  • Grandpa Tom

    Modern Scholars who came up with the JEDP theory are not enlightened by the Word of God. Jesus in all of the Gosples mentions creation, He talks about Adam (And he answered and said unto them, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. (Matt19:4), He mentions Moses on more than one occation (Mark 9:4; says: And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking to Jesus). Jesus also mentions Jonah and the Great Fish Matt. 12:40,40 – 16:4 – Luke 11:32). Jesus believed in Moses and the Torah. Jesus is the living Torah. Jesus believed in Abraham (I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matt. 22:32))), and Noah.
    Who are you going to believe? Man’s statements, or the statements of Jesus?

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